Charlotte (AFP) - Prosecutors announced Monday they have dismissed domestic violence charges against Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, saying his accuser cannot be found and has not cooperated in the case.
Mecklenburg County district attorney Andrew Murray said he understands that Hardy and his accuser had reached a civil settlement and she had intentionally made herself unavailable to cooperate with prosecutors.
Lacking her testimony, the state could not move ahead with a case against Hardy, Murray said, noting that prosecutors had not spoken with Hardy's accuser since November, when she indicated she did not wish to take part in another trial.
Hardy was convicted last July of assaulting and threatening the woman but he appealed to have a jury hear the case.
When prosecutors could not move ahead, the prior conviction was considered overturned.
Had Hardy been convicted he would have been subject to a six-week suspension under the NFL's new personal conduct policy, enacted in the wake of domestic violence incidents last season involving Hardy, Baltimore rusher Ray Rice and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.
Hardy was paid $13.1 million for last season but played in only one game, spending most of the season on the commissioner's exempt list while his legal status was in limbo awaiting the appeal that was to have started Monday.
Hardy is not expected to return to the Panthers, making him a free agent next month.
"We are aware of the decision by the district attorney's office to dismiss charges against Greg Hardy," the Panthers said in a statement.
"Greg remains on the commissioner's exempt list and the NFL has advised us to allow it to complete its review under the personal conduct policy. There is no change in his status at this time."